Current CEO Jason Vanderbrink Will Continue to Lead the Sporting Products Business and the U.S. Headquarters Will Remain in Anoka, Minnesota
Represents Largest Acquisition in the History of Czech Defense Industry
16/10/2023 — PRAGUE — (BUSINESS WIRE)
The Czechoslovak Group (“CSG”) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Vista Outdoor Inc.’s (NYSE: VSTO) (“Vista Outdoor”) Sporting Products business for a total consideration of $1.91 billion, valuing the business at approximately 5x Fiscal Year 2024E EBITDA, including estimated standalone costs. CSG will partner with the existing management to pursue the continued growth path envisaged for the Sporting Products business over the coming years.
Headquartered in Anoka, Minnesota, Vista Outdoor’s Sporting Products business is a leading ammunition manufacturer in the U.S. commercial and law enforcement markets. It employs approximately 4,000 employees across its four U.S. factories and owns leading ammunition brands including CCI, Federal, HEVI-Shot, Remington and Speer.
CSG, based in Prague, Czech Republic, is a leading industrial technology company operating in five strategic business segments: Defense, Aerospace, Ammunition, Mobility and Business Projects. It is 100% controlled and led by Michal Strnad, who has transformed it into the most relevant Czech industrial group, with a strong international footprint. CSG employs more than 10,000 people worldwide and owns and manages a diverse portfolio of industrial and trade companies across the civil and defense sectors.
The proposed transaction would be CSG’s largest acquisition to date after a long series of smaller acquisitions focused on the European market, including the acquisition of Fiocchi Munizioni in 2022. It also represents the largest acquisition in the history of the Czech defense industry. The transaction is expected to close in calendar year 2024, subject to shareholder approval, receipt of necessary regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Sporting Products will become a wholly owned subsidiary of CSG, operating as a private company. Jason Vanderbrink will remain CEO of the Sporting Products business and the U.S. headquarters will remain in Anoka, Minnesota.
Michal Strnad, Owner and CEO of CSG, commented: “This transaction perfectly fits with our strategy of expanding the key pillars of our business. I am proud that our company and the Czech defense industry managed to realize the most significant Czech investment in the U.S. market to date, which will deepen the strategic industrial relations between the two countries. We look forward to working with Jason and the Sporting Products leadership team to expand on their company’s success and their legacy of U.S. manufacturing.”
David Štěpán, Member of the CSG Board and Investment Director for CSG International Projects, added: “Vista Outdoor’s Sporting Products business is vertically integrated, has excellent financial results and is well invested. Thanks to this acquisition, CSG will become one of the most important ammunition manufacturers in the world with a comprehensive portfolio across all calibers.”
“This is an important strategic step for our company in creating value through the separation of our Outdoor Products and Sporting Products segments,” said Gary McArthur, Interim CEO of Vista Outdoor. “The previously announced plan to separate our businesses has positioned us to execute seamlessly on this transaction, which we believe is the best path to maximize value for all our stakeholders, while better positioning Sporting Products and Outdoor Products for future success.”
“We are confident that CSG is a great home for our leading ammunition brands,” said Jason Vanderbrink, CEO of Sporting Products. “The company is fully committed to our iconic American brands and expanding our legacy of U.S. manufacturing, support for military and law enforcement customers, and investments in conservation and our hunting and shooting heritage. We are excited to work closely with the CSG team as we enter this next phase and position our brands for long-term success.”
J.P. Morgan is acting as sole financial adviser to Czechoslovak Group, as well as leading and structuring the acquisition financing, with Clifford Chance LLP acting as legal adviser.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is acting as sole financial adviser to Vista Outdoor and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is acting as legal adviser.
About Czechoslovak Group
Czechoslovak Group (CSG) is an international industrial technology holding company building on the tradition of the Czech and Slovak industry, owned by Michal Strnad. CSG supports the development of Czech and Slovak companies engaged in defense and civil industrial production and trade. More than 10,000 people are employed by CSG companies and affiliates. In 2022, the holding’s consolidated revenues reached 25 billion CZK. CSG operates across five strategic business segments covering aerospace, ammunition, defense, mobility and business projects.
About Vista Outdoor Inc.
Vista Outdoor (NYSE: VSTO) is the parent company of more than three dozen renowned brands that design, manufacture and market sporting and outdoor products. Brands include Bushnell, CamelBak, Bushnell Golf, Foresight Sports, Fox Racing, Bell Helmets, Camp Chef, Giro, Simms Fishing, QuietKat, Stone Glacier, Federal Ammunition, Remington Ammunition and more. Our reporting segments, Outdoor Products and Sporting Products, provide consumers with a wide range of performance-driven, high-quality and innovative outdoor and sporting products. For news and information, visit our website at www.VistaOutdoor.com.
CZECHOSLOVAK Group contact
Andrej Čírtek, Spokesperson
Mobile: +420 602 494 208